One fine morning in October, 2012, G. Sudhakar, a government teacher, was flipping through a newspaper at a tea stall in Chittoor when he came across news pertaining to the Hyderabad Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). One particular story on crows and their services as the best urban scavengers attracted him so much that from that day his outlook towards flora and fauna started undergoing a sea change.
Mr. Sudhakar (50), a native of Chittoor town, is currently working at the Government Upper Primary School, 70 Kothapalli village of Yadamarri mandal. The impact of the conference was such that he extensively collected the literature of the meet, including newspaper clippings, brochures, lectures and souvenirs. For about six months, he was immersed in the theme of biodiversity. He found himself moved by the urge to simplify the message and teach the same to the students and make them practically do something to protect the environment and cherish a love for flora and fauna.
From the beginning of the academic year 2013, Mr. Sudhakar chalked out an action plan to spread the message on biodiversity. During the last five years, the teacher visited as many as 170 schools not only in Andhra Pradesh, but also in Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, covering close to one lakh students. He would utilise the Casual Leaves to spread the message at NCC camps, social welfare hostels, exhibitions and environmental meets.
Mr. Sudhakar adopts a unique methodology to deliver his message and to create instant impact on the students. For instance, he extensively refers to the role of crow, the nearest dwelling bird of mankind. “It pained me so much as most people consider crow as a bad omen, going by its colour and voice. I kept repeatedly emphasising its role for mankind, as a scavenger. Now, many of my students have developed a sort of love and respect for crows,” says the teacher.
He would also speak about the role of sparrows, honeybee, butterflies and insects in pollination, which in turn would lead to the greater survival of greenery. “Each flower would serve many honeybees to collect the nectar. I observe with pride that many students and even several of my colleagues have altogether stopped plucking flowers and leaves in their surroundings. Flora and fauna are the best teachers,” says Mr. Sudhakar.